Rear Entry Handicap Vans
Rear entry wheelchair vans — handicap vans with the lift in the rear — offer many possibilities for wheelchair van users.
What is a Rear Entry Wheelchair Van?
Rear entry wheelchair vans are vans — either full size or minivan — that have the rear entry point modified to be wheelchair accessible. In the case of a rear entry minivan, the floor of the van is “cut and lowered.”
The “cutting and lowering” of the vehicles creates a channel through which the wheelchair user can enter and move up to the middle section.
For full size rear entry wheelchair vans, the roof and rear doors are typically raised to give the wheelchair user adequate room to enter while seated in the wheelchair.
While there are significant differences between full-size wheelchair vans and wheelchair accessible minivans, the case for rear entry is similar for both varieties. Among the benefits of a rear entry approach are:
- The wheelchair ramp or lift, being in the rear, does not interfere with the passenger entry way.
- Parking in narrow spaces is not a problem when you exit and enter from the rear.
- Additional seating options are available as less maneuvering room is required.
- For rear entry wheelchair vans, the conversion is generally less expensive—this is not true of full-size vans where the cost is the same for rear or side entry.
- VCI Mobility also offers rear entry wheelchair lifts for full size vans
The limitations of having the wheelchair access in the rear of the handicap van are also similar between full-size vans and wheelchair accessible minivans.
- Exiting from the rear puts the wheelchair user into traffic areas as opposed to closer to the curb.
- Significant limitations and/or increased costs can occur when attempting to use a rear entry wheelchair van when driving from a wheelchair.
Rear Entry Wheelchair Van Products
|Van-Style||Available on these Vehicles||Conversion Companies|
|Rear Entry Minivan||Honda Odyssey
Dodge Grand Caravan
Chrysler Town and Country
|Rear Entry Full Size Van||Ford Econoline Van
While side-entry handicap vans are still the most popular—owning over 75% of the market—rear entry handicap vans are also gaining in popularity. The increase in the popularity of rear entry mobility vans seems to be driven by the recent introduction of rear entry handicap vans on popular minivans like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey. The lower cost of the rear entry handicap van also seems to contribute to its popularity. We expect that as many more people give rear entry wheelchair vans a try, “word of mouth” and referrals will drive additional buyer activity.
Do you only have a temporary mobility need? VCI also offers a rear entry handicap van rental option to make things easier for you.